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Marysville plans to expand emergency management program

 

Photo courtesy of the city of Marysville

Locals learn the proper technique when responding to a fire from one of the city's previous Community Emergency Response Team classes.

The City of Marysville plans to expand their current emergency preparedness program in the future.

Local Marysville staff plan to take over duties that the county currently handles.

Emergency services include responsibilities like responding directly to disasters, helping with recovery efforts, providing departmental training, developing an emergency management plan and providing community trainings like the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) service.

Snohomish County currently provides many of the city's programs that help manage emergencies, but the City Council voted to end that agreement starting in 2018.

Notice was given to the Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management last month.

"This was not a decision that was made lightly, nor was it made because we weren't getting good service from the county," said Diana Rose, risk management officer for the City of Marysville.

"We've just grown to a point that we need to respond internally to our citizens' needs," she said.

The funds that would normally be paid as part of the contract with the county are now being "invested internally," said Rose.

In 2017 Marysville paid $74,681 to the county for that contract.

The new model for Marysville will be similar to Everett's model, said Rose.

She expects Marysville to continue to collaborate with and listen to the county's Department of Emergency Management.

Marysville has been increasing their level of emergency services in the last few years already as well.

In 2014 the city restructured to create the risk management officer position at the city, who was responsible for providing more community trainings like the CERT training, which trains community members in how to respond to a disaster.

"The city's growth over the past several years has spurred demand for emergency preparedness services, trainings and presentations within our community," said Rose. "This has resulted in the city's decision to provide in-house staff and services to meet local needs."

The hope is an increase in community training for the city.

"The citizens will benefit by getting more opportunities for emergency preparedness training. We realize that if a catastrophic disaster occurred, we would likely be on our own for some time," said Rose.

Those opportunities include the CERT training and other community presentations.

"We started having Citizen Emergency Response Team (CERT) training in 2015 and they have been very popular," said Rose.

The city is holding some refresher courses this fall for those who have taken the course and want to keep their skills up-to-date as well.

"I have also started doing Map Your Neighborhood (MYN) training in the community," she said.

The city is also building a volunteer program for emergency management.

There will also likely be more avenues for people to learn about how to be prepared as well.

"We are also encouraging our citizens to be prepared and offering more opportunities for them to get the knowledge they need to make that happen," said Rose.

Training of other city departments could also increase.

"We will also be able to conduct more internal staff training so city staff will be better prepared to respond in the event of a major disaster until outside resources arrive," she said.

More information about the city's emergency management program and the programs they offer is available at http://www.marysvillewa.gov/317/Emergency-Management.

 

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